Another year of recs

With a day to spare (why do I always leave these so late, even when I know what I’m going to be writing about?), I’ve finished and posted the last of my recommendations for this year. As advertised, it’s the last of the classical “primary sources” recommendations: Virgil’s Aeneid, rounding out the set begun with the Iliad and the Oydssey.

0 Responses to “Another year of recs”

  1. wadam

    You know that Robert Fagels, whose translation of the Illiad is chillingly brilliant, just did an Aeneid? I haven’t read it yet, but I suspect that it is no less amazing. My thing with the Aeneid is that in Latin, it really is an amazing poem, but in translation, I’ve always found it kind of boring. And my hope is that Fagels manages to capture a sense of the poetics of it that makes the Latin so great.

  2. mindstalk

    The Aeneid, in brief, tells the tale of his departure from Troy after its fall, his subsequent wandering adventures, and finally his arrival in Italy, where he wins a war and eventually becomes the ancestor of the Roman race.

    You might want to actually mention Aeneas’s name before you start slinging the pronoun around. 🙂

    I got the Fagels translation from my parents for Christmas, and was reading it at a fine clip yesterday, including reading it aloud quietly while I waited for the shuttle. I seemed to do better than with John Dryden’s translation even though I like rhyming couplets (which Dryden used; Fagels is just metric.) There’s also a long introduction by Bernard Knox, which my mother says I should read, though I tend to put off long introductions until I’ve read the work they’re talking about.

    The “I am a propaganda tool for Rome” aspect is coming through more blatantly than I remember from Dryden, which might be the translations or might be my memory or reading attention at the time.

    • wadam

      I seemed to do better than with John Dryden’s translation even though I like rhyming couplets

      Is Dryden’s translation well-known? I stumbled onto it and actually rather like it. Though I find that the couplets don’t do justice to the gravity of the text.

      • mindstalk

        I have no idea. The local public library had it, and my father (a classics minor) has read it, though my mother (a major) has not.

        Hey, it’s online. And with Theodore Williams’ verse and Latin.

        Oh, Wikipedia says this:

        Among the most famous translations of the Aeneid is the English translation by the 17th-century poet John Dryden. Although it takes numerous, significant liberties with the text, along with the addition of a very non-Roman rhyme scheme, it is thought to be one of the very few examples of a poetic translation that retains the power and flow of the original in a new language, and it is often regarded as a classic in its own right.

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